DFA does not have a reputation for big time graft. Sure, we’ve heard of passport syndicates here and there but a shady billion peso “no-bid” contract is something new to The Department.
The Daily Tribune reported that “The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is silently processing machine-readable passports amid unresolved legalities involving the multibillion-peso project.”
The report cites suspicions aired by certain Department officials over the awarding of a “no-bid contract” to a French company, Hologram.READ HERE.
The Tribune said, “Suspicions of an anomaly arose when the passport modernization project was terminated two years ago but was resumed later after its contract was awarded to a Paris-based company, Hologram, with no bidding having been undertaken.”
In a related article, Manila Standard-Today columnist, Alvin Capino, points to a DOJ “warning to the Department of Foreign Affairs not to proceed with a multi-billion peso deal with the French company.”
He adds, “Several weeks ago, we aired the concern leaking out of the trade department. Insiders from the Department of Trade and Industry said the deal in question was masked as “technical assistance” by Hologram to DFA. Apparently, however, it seemed more like a clever way to get around Philippine procurement laws.”
The Department has been very secretive about this deal. It has refused to discuss it openly or make public its communications with the BSP(Bangko Sentral ng Piliinas) and Hologram.
The original bidding committee for machine readable passports included the Office of Legal Affairs and the Usec for Administration, but they were “looped out” by Secretary Romulo last year. The Office of Consular Affairs was given exclusive control over the project.
The buzz in the Department is Usec.Ebdalin was pressured by Sec. Romulo into signing a memo saying the arrangement with Hologram is okay.
The Department may have a lot of administrative problems – extensions for retired officers, extensions at posts, rotation of assignments, and even passport syndicates here and there – but, as far as we know, it has never been implicated in anything like this suspicious passport deal.
If Sec.Romulo cares about the reputation of the Department he heads, he should make all the documents and communications of this “no-bid contract” available for public scrutiny.
Transparency is, after all, the best defense against allegations of irregularity and impropriety.
Our post yesterday was about the dirty tricks of Malacanan.
Today, a good friend of ours, one of the victims of Mike Arroyo’s libel suits, sent us a text message informing us about this website:
Disbar the first boor (CLICK HERE)
The website features an unfiled petition with the Supreme Court for disbarment against Mike Arroyo on the grounds of immorality etc. by a woman who says she was his former mistress.
We don’t know if any of it is true but we are posting it just the same to show our readers that dirty tricks can and do bite back.
There is only one way to play the game and that is playing it “fair and square.”
Ever wonder why Gloria does not hold public celebrations of EDSA Dos?
Excerpt from a speech delivered by Justice Artemio Panganiban, February 19. 2002
“On the afternoon of Friday, January 19, 2001, all the heads of the major commands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) withdrew their support from President Estrada and pledged their allegiance to then Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA). From that point on, it became clear to me that President Estrada could not effectively govern the country, but that Vice President Arroyo could not legally lead it either. In other words, from that fateful afternoon, there was no effectively functioning government in the country.
I was aghast at the situation and could not rest during the evening of January 19. I must have fallen asleep about 1:00 a.m. Upon waking up at 4:00 a.m. on January 20, I immediately switched on our bedroom TV. An EDSA panel was being interviewed. The media host announced that Cardinal Sin, through Msgr. Socrates Villegas, was pleading with the EDSA rallyists not to march towards Mendiola, where the pro-Erap partisans were encamped. Fr. Robert Reyes, a panelist, unequivocally supported the Cardinal’s call. But the leaders of the militant groups announced they were proceeding to Mendiola at 6:00 a.m., unless President Estrada resigned by then.
The Grim Scenario
I was worried that if the two groups clashed, there would be violence and bloodshed, especially if the EDSA militants made good their vow to storm the presidential residence. President Estrada could not stop them because the government machinery had broken down. The military and the police would not obey him. Neither could Mrs. Arroyo take over the reigns of government, as there was–at least, theoretically–a legally recognized President. If Mrs. Arroyo acted, she would be unconstitutionally usurping presidential prerogatives. Indeed, she would be installing a revolutionary government. ON the other hand, military adventures could mount a coup d’etat and rule by force. In either case, the Constitution would be obliterated and all constitutional offices including the Presidency and the Supreme Court would be abolished. Surely, the fragile economy would collapse and the nation thrown into civil strife.
I prayed and reflected upon this grim scenario. I concluded that the only way to avert violence, chaos and bloodshed, and to save our democratic system from collapse was to have Mrs. Arroyo sworn in as President. After prayer and reflection, I summoned the courage to call up Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. about 5:30 a.m. to explain to him my apprehensions. I proposed that, to save the Constitution, he should swear in GMA by 12:00 noon of that day.
The Chief Justice`s Response
In normal times, the Supreme Court and its members are passive government officials who act only when a proper petition or request is filed. I thought, however, that the scenario at that point was not normal. Far from it. In fact, the country was faced with an extraordinary situation that demanded an extraordinary solution. Only one state institution, the Supreme Court, had the credibility and the moral authority to avert a governmental catastrophe. And there was only one person who could steer the country from armed confrontation and upheaval: Chief Justice Davide. His outstanding performance as presiding officer of the impeachment court made him–per a scientific poll survey–the most trusted Filipino.
To my delight, Chief Justice Davide immediately agreed to my proposal. He asked me to announce over radio and television his intention to administer the presidential oath to the then Vice President.
When a justice heard the announcement, he telephoned the Court questioning the proposal. So, the Chief justice decided to call immediately all the members of the Court to an emergency session. After an animated discussion on the various constitutional aspects of the situation, all twelve justices present–three were out of town–eventually backed the announced swearing in, provided GMA submitted a formal written request for it. They even went to the EDSA Shrine to witness the oath-taking ceremony.”
AND THAT’S WHY DAVIDE WAS APPOINTED PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UN/
Below are excerpts from Nick Joaquin’s interview with Mike Arroyo for GraphIcs magazine, March 5 2001. Now you know Gloria and Mike did it for you.
“There was a time honestly, when I felt I erred in advising her to resign from the Cabinet. The masa in Manila apparently wanted her to stick it out with Erap. And when she started attacking him, everything fell on us – grabe!- everything! But I told myself: it’s now or never; if we lose here we’re totally destroyed and it’s goodbye to her political career – but if we win here, she becomes President! So we really fought.”
“We bought one million and a half million copies of Pinoy Times to give away so the public could read about the Erap mansions and bank accounts.”
“And when EDSA happened, we texted everybody to go running there. EDSA, EDSA: everybody converge on EDSA! Panalo kung panalo. Patay kung patay! “
“Our group there was a back-up strike force. In fact, it was our group that won over to our side the PNP first. If Panfilo Lacson had resisted, he and his men would have been repelled: there would have been bloodshed, but not on EDSA. In every place where Erap loyalists had a force, we had a counter-force to face it, with orders to shoot. And not only in Metro Manila. …. This was a fight to the finish… “
“I was negotiating with Pardo up to three o’clock in the morning: niloloko lang pala kami. But I told him point-blank: “If by six o’clock this morning you haven’t given us the resignation letter, we will storm the gates of Malacañang!’
“But the threat to march to Malacañang was for real. And so was the danger of bloodshed. I wasn’t telling Gloria everything: I didn’t want her alarmed. So she didn’t know about the orders to shoot.”
Did Vicky Toh know?
A certain Maj. Michael Samson from the Armed Forces Civil Relations Service issued the following statement :
“The AFP supports the statement of Secretary Gonzales that communist party-list groups should be voted out because they are obstructions to our country’s progress…
…We are a non-partisan and apolitical organization and we are not allowed to campaign for any group. What we are just concerned about is those who are advocating the communist advocacy…
We condemn any party-list groups advocating communism. We are not trying to influence politics but we are just trying to inform the people to make them aware of the violence and armed struggle of rebel groups.”
Read Samson’s statement again, this time with substituted words.
“The AFP supports the statement of ERAP that LAKAS-KAMPI should be voted out because they are obstructions to our country’s progress…
…We are a non-partisan and apolitical organization and we are not allowed to campaign for any group. What we are just concerned about is those groups who are advocating CHARTER CHANGE …
We condemn any PARTIES advocating CHA-CHA. We are not trying to influence politics but we are just trying to inform the people to make them aware of the violence THIS ADMINISTRATION.”
Does Samson’s statement still look non-partisan and apoliical?
Where does the AFP recruit these morons?
In Cebu City, Gloria Arroyo swore-in Hilarion Davide as ambassador to the UN. She did it to please the Cebuanos.
She may have pleased some Cebuanos but she pissed-off Michael Macaraig of the DFAPA (Department of Foreign Affairs Personnel Association) who wrote a letter to Mrs. Arroyo expressing his displeasure over her choice of Davide as ambassador to the UN.
Congratulations Michael. Finally someone in the aboveground unions of the DFA showed some balls. We know that the company union, Unifors, will also show their balls, just as soon as they find them.
Yesterday, we wrote that our Palace mole said, “Negotiations between Ms. Toh’s Palace backer and Mrs. Arroyo are being held, behind closed doors.”
Today, we learned that a compromise may have been reached, “She’s in if Nani is in too.” We agree. The administration needs a balanced ticket.
Oliver Lozano may have to run with the KBL. It seems his 2005 impeachment complaint, although a highly appreciated gesture, is not enough to earn him a slot in the Arroyo slate. The reason? “We must push on without looking back”, said Toting Bunye.
Bunye’s words could be bad news for the proponents of the failed people’s initiative, Lambino, Pedrosa, and Bengzon. It’s possible that , like Lozano, they have outlived their usefulness. They may be dropped. But we’ ll wait for Ermita to make that painful decision.
We apologize to former police chief Lomibao for forgetting to include him in our proposed senatorial slate. He deserves a place considering the role he played in the 2004 election and the suppression of protest rallies afterwards.
Finally, Davide should have the delicadeza to retire. He has done enough harm to the country.
Our Palace mole said Vicky Toh may be replaced by Oliver Lozano. It seems Mrs. Arroyo expressed some reservations about Ms. Toh.
Lozano, on the other hand, has a proven track record. He wrote a letter to Eduardo Ermita to remind him of his (Lozano) valiant efforts to save Mrs. Arroyo from People Power. “When the President demanded due process or full and fair hearing in the charges of the opposition, Lozano filed the preemptive impeachment in response to the President’s demand and upon the public exhortation of [former] Supreme Court Justice Cecilia Munoz-Palma in order to preempt People Power.”
Negotiations between Ms. Toh’s Palace backer and Mrs. Arroyo are being held, behind closed doors.
We think there’s no need to choose between Ms. Toh and Mr. Lozano. They are equally outstanding.
Ellen Tordesillas is urging Chavit Singson to run for senator. READ HERE. We think it’s a marvelous suggestion. In addition to Chavit, Mrs. Arroyo should consider other equally outstanding Filipinos for her senatorial ticket
1. Mikey Arroyo
2. Iggy Arroyo
3. Dato Arroyo
4. Marilou Arroyo Jacinto Lesaca (sister of Iggy and Mike)
5. Buboy Macapagal
6. Virgilio Garcillano
7. Ronaldo Puno
8. Benjamin Abalos
9. Romulo Macalintal
10. Hermogenes Esperon
11. Hermogenes Ebdane
12. Larry Mendoza
13. Angelo Reyes
14. Jovito Palparan
15. Vidal Querol
16. Norberto Gonzalez
17. Raul Gonzalez
18. Merceditas Gutierrez
19. Mike Defensor
20. Lito Atienza
21. Edcel Lagman
22. Prospero Nograles
23. Prospero Pichay
24. Jose de Venecia
25. Luis Villafuerte
26. Raul Lambino
27. Carmen Pedrosa
28. Vic Agustin
29. Mela Bengzon
30. Eduardo Ermita
31. Gabriel Claudio
32. Toting Bunye
33. Nani Perez
34. Joc-joc Bolante
35. Bong Pineda
36. Vicky Toh
We apologize to those we overlooked. Their omission does not mean we think they are not as outstanding as the others.
Thanks to the inaction of the company union, Unifors. there is one less posting available to career ambassadors. Shirley Ho-Vecarion has been confimed by the CA as ambassador to Papua New Guinea.
Seriously, guys, don’t you think it’s time you folded your tent? When our movement, UNIFFORS, was formed following the revelation of the Garci tapes, we asked you to join us. Instead, you got ultra-legal, wrote a letter condemning us, and pledged your undying support of the cheater. Where did you your tuta attitude get you?
You think you were going to be rewarded for your loyalty? Smell the damn coffee! Nobody respects wimps.
Who’s the de facto Unifors president now? Na promote lang to ambassador nawalan na ng bayag.
The good news is Raul Gobzales was passed over, along with Mr. Health Card Duque, Mr. Garci bodyguard Ebdane, Mr. Former Everything Angelo Reyes, and seven other cabinet nominees. It should be mentioned that some of the seven by-passed nominees are actually decent people. Unfortunately, they chose to cast their lot with a cheat, a liar and a thief. Screw them all.
The Luneta rally did not get the 500,000 warm bodies the organizers had hoped. Some of them will cite myriad reasons for falling short of their goal. But that would be self-destructive. There’s an old political maxim that says, “in politics when you’re explaining, you’re losing.”
There is no need for explanations. The only thing that matters is that there are people who are willing to stand up for what’s right. They deserve our gratitude.
Thank you to all who came to the rally. Without you we lose completely
As we say in our bannerhead –
“In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely”
Thank you again for keeping up the good fight!
Almost ten days after Gloria Arroy cancelled the ASEAN Summit because of a non-typhoon, Amb. Vic Lecaros, spokesman of the 12th ASEAN Summit, still insists,
“Truth is, the only real cause (for the postponement) was that blandest of all conversational topics in everyday life: the weather.”
Pag-asa said the typhoon would not hit Cebu. Pag-asa said the typhoon would be out, not only off Cebu, but out of the Philippne area of responsibility by the time the summit was scheduled to begin. Pag-asa said it was okay to go on with the summit. (ANC has Pag-asa on tape.)
Vic Lecaros, an ambassador by profession, is saying that Gloria Arroyo, a liar and a cheat by choice, is more qualified than Pag-asa when it comes to tracking the path of a typhoon.
Pag-asa can be wrong sometimes but they never lie. The same cannot be said of Gloria Arroyo and now, sadly, of Amb. Vic Lecaros.
It pains us to see an otherwise intelligent and qualified foreign service officer like Lecaros reduced to lying for Gloria Arroyo.
Amb. Lecaros you should have left the lying to low-lifes like Amb. Jun Paynor, chief protocol of Malacanan. Sinira mo lang ang pangalan mo. Sayang.